Friday, September 20, 2002

Why did the boycotters not protest Tavis Smiley's Cincinnati Appearance?
While I was checking out the boycotter's protest of the AFL-CIO dinner, I got the gumption to ask one of the protesters why no one protested Tavis Smiley earlier that day. I asked a gentleman who was standing at the Fountain Square garage entrance. He was 54 years old, from West Chester, and wore a UAW tee-shirt. I failed to ask him his name, which is an amateur mistake. I am not much of a reporter.

His answer was coy. He basically said that Tavis Smiley's appearance was fine because he brought a "message." I do not know what that message was. I did not hear him speak either at the conference or on the WMUB broadcast. I asked how that was consistent and his response was an example that they do not protest the Red's games either. I should have tried to find a leader of this protest or I should have tried to go the CJC or the BUF directly, but I really am not a reporter, and I did not want to pretend to be one. Taking these pictures was as far as I went. This gentleman and I proceeded to have a discussion about the entire boycott race relations issue. I really did not ask good questions. I should have done better. He just tried to lay the guilt trip on me. He spoke of Jorg and Roach and racial profiling. Those are really red herrings, but I did not respond to him with what I would have liked. I should have gone through the list of demands. The only good thing I asked him about is why he was protesting along side groups like the "Black Fist" and the "New Black Panthers," both of which I advised him are hate groups. The conversation got to a point where I asked him in general what percentage of people in the City were part of the KKK. He said 5%. I laughed outloud. I then asked if he really thought 5% of the nearly 2 million people in the metro area were members of the KKK. He then laughed out loud at the 2 Million number and said he meant only City residence. I laughed again. I said that they only KKK person I new about lived in Amelia. I think that if people really think that 5% of City residents are members of the KKK, I think they are really ignorant of what is going on. If people think the KKK has any real power anywhere in this city they need to have their head examined. There are about as many KKK members in the City as there are members of the "Black Fist". This man seemed very nice and a very pleasant person, but he also did not seem to be a member of the Clown Posse. I hope his opinion of the number of KKK members in the City is not common among black people in this area. If it is, then we(the City) are going nowhere fast.

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